Lincolnshire CCGs are supporting the first ever national cervical screening campaign, which targets women who are eligible for screening aged between 25 and 64. The campaign has been launched by Public Health England with support from NHS England, and runs from 5 March until 28 April.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer as screening programmes help to prevent cancer by detecting early abnormalities in the cervix, so they can be treated. If these abnormalities are left untreated they can lead to cancer of the cervix (the neck of the womb). We know that on average cervical screening helps save the lives of approximately 4,500 women in England every year.
Around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and around 690 women die from the disease. It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented, however, attendance is at a 20-year low, with one in four women in the UK not attending their cervical screening.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the risks of cervical cancer and highlight the preventative benefits of screening; encouraging women to respond to their screening invitation letters, and if they missed previous invites, to book an appointment.
Research conducted by Public Health England shows that there are a number of barriers to screening including concern that it might be painful and embarrassing, which the campaign will also aim to tackle.
Having your cervical screening sample taken should only take matter of minutes. In the UK, GPs and practice nurses take the majority of cervical screening samples.
You can bring a relative or friend with you and you can request a female nurse or GP to take the sample. As with all cancers, the earlier a problem is spotted, the better the patient’s outcome. Screening saves lives, and we are committed to helping and encouraging all women to access this vital service.